Windows 10: Installing programs to flash drive/advice?

  1.    17 Jul 2017 #1

    Installing programs to flash drive/advice?

    Hey everyone, so after many google searches I am just confused about how to install programs to my flash drive, I have read that you can use a 3rd party aplication to make the applications "portable" such as etc however I don't wish to use 3rd party programs, I have also read about the registry having possible problems when using other systems.

    Can someone just school me on this subject so I can make a decision and move forward, thank you Tenforums community!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.   My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Jul 2017 #3

    Thanks but to my knowledge that doesn't let you use any of your own applications, if you could just download any portable application of the internet I wouldn't be asking this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    18 Jul 2017 #4

    It depends on the author/vendor of the software. If a portable form is provided, then extract that form onto the USB drive and one is good to go.

    The volunteers at do the work of converting (with permissions of the authors/vendors) the executable installers into portable form for public download and use.

    "[T]o my knowledge that doesn't let you use any of your own applications"

    I'm not sure what that means, as it relates to installing portable software.

    If no portable form exists, I think whether a software can be installed on a flash drive is dependent on how deeply or complex it interacts with the OS.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    19 Jul 2017 #5

    Your question isn't clear. Do you want to install a program on USB to save space on your PC or do you want it to work on other PCs as well?

    A portable app is something that you can carry around and preserve your settings when moving from one computer to the next. That is all. It might or might not update the registry but if it does the changes it makes are not important to its running.

    Typically if you download a portable version of an app it will contain a folder with whatever it needs in it. This will be the program, and then perhaps some settings files, help text and other supporting programs and files. Just copy that folder onto the USB and run it from there. You don't install portable apps.

    If you want to install a program and choose where it stores its files you have 2 options. The installer may (or may not) give you the choice. If it does then fine - you can install it on a USB.

    If it doesn't give you the option where you want to install it you'll have to install it where it defaults to and then move the installed program objects from C:\Program Files etc to a USB and either run it from there (if it works) or replace them all with junctions.

    For a simple program this might work on another PC and the program may be portable. For a more complex one it will certainly not. For example you could install MS Word and then move the various folders it installs to USB and that would save you space on your C drive. That would not make it portable though. Word still going to look in the registry to find what language you want and what printer you prefer. It is still going to look in C:\Users\<YOURNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\normal.dotm to find your default paper size and font. Its still going to check the license stored on the PC it was installed on. So even if you move the objects it installs you haven't (and can't) make it portable.

    If the program saves its configuration settings to the registry or stores anything else outside of its own directory that it requires to run or requires something or other on the PC then it isn't portable. It doesn't matter if you install it on a USB - that program will only work if the USB is plugged into the computer it was installed on.

    You need to clarify your question but if it is "can I make program xyz portable" then unless xyz is extremely small and trivial, probably not. There are exceptions (GOG Games for example) but generally not. You can always try as some developers package simple things (basically portable apps) with installers simply to add a option to the start menu - you can just install it, copy the directory it creates from "C:\Program Files", uninstall it again and try running it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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